PINELLAS PARK, Fla. - Samantha Richardson Hardy is on a mission to collect items for families in need. Her organization is making sure parents and their babies have everything they need to stay safe and healthy during the pandemic.
"We get clothing. We get diapers for babies. We get baby food. We get formula for the baby. We also get parents' needs," Hardy explained.
She is president of the nonprofit called The Gathering of Women. They provide services for children and families in St Petersburg.
"Many of our parents, due to the virus, have lost jobs, have lost income," she explained.
She recently visited Babycycle, a grassroots initiative to help babies from the age of 0 to 3. IN 2019, Babycycle helped more than 120,000 children in the Tampa Bay area and distributed more than 300,000 diapers with the help of its partner agencies.
Babycycle is the only diaper bank in Pinellas County.
"We're seeing a lot more people being affected and we're helping a lot more people than we usually do," Jillia Koger, director of Babycycle said. "Just knowing that we are making a huge difference and seeing those photos that we get of our clients of moms, dads, uh babies that are so grateful for what we do."
The program was started by Torra Jasuwan in 2013. She had two children who had outgrown their clothes and couldn't find an organization to give them, too, so she stared Babycycle.
"She figured out that this was a huge need and it just honestly just blown up from there. And here we are," Jillia said.
For information on Babycycle, visit www.babycyclefl.org.